Jean Rounds, Senator Mike Rounds Wife, Dies at 65

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 3: Sen. Mike Rounds, (R-SD) participates in a mock swearing-in for the 117th Congress with Vice President Mike Pence, as his wife Jean Rounds holds a bible, in the Old Senate Chambers at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Both chambers are holding rare Sunday …
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Jean Rounds, former First Lady of South Dakota and wife of U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD), has died after a two-year battle with sarcoma cancer. 

The love of my life is with the Lord. No more treatments. No more pain. Just peace,” Sen. Rounds posted on Twitter. “South Dakota knew her as First Lady. We knew her as wife, daughter, mom and grandma. She was everything to us.” 

Mike Rounds further said, “The prayers and support we received throughout this battle were powerful and made a difference. We ask for your continued prayer as we remember her life and grieve together as a family.”

The couple met while enrolled at South Dakota State University, and they had been married since 1978. Jean Rounds worked in state government positions like the Department of Transportation and the State Planning Bureau for 27 years.

From 2003 to 2011, Jean Rounds served as South Dakota’s first lady, where she advocated for childhood literacy and became an advocate for women’s heart health. Additionally, she oversaw a complete redesign of the governor’s mansion that finished in 2005. She served on the commission overseeing South Dakota state Capitol grounds until her death. 

In August 2020, she was the sole Capitol Complex Restoration and Beautification Commission member to oppose South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s (R) proposal to build a security fence around the capitol. 

Sen. Rounds’ office announced Jean’s diagnosis of an aggressive tumor near her sciatic nerve in May 2019. Jean underwent multiple rounds of radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery.

Jean leaves her ten grandchildren, four children, and husband behind. 


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